pect to learn all. You will tell me whether you are employed as when we parted in the labours of agriculture, or the contemplative pursuits of study--single, or in the yoke-- Miss x x x x x x x x x you say is more blooming than ever. Long may she bloom--late may her eye lose its brilliance, and the roses of her cheek their freshness. Such are my wishes for her and for all the fair-ones of Bridgewater. 4
Poor Allen. I am sorry for him. He had good traits in his character, but I was always afraid whither certain propensities of his would lead him. I knew his want of settled principles. 5
Present my affectionate remembrances to Mr. Baylies, and to your family, and to all my friends in Bridgewater,--and tell Mr. Baylies that I am on the eve of writing him a longer letter than he will have patience to read.
I remain Sir
with the highest esteem
WM C BRYANT
MANUSCRIPTS: Middlebury College Library (final copy); NYPL-GR (draft) ADDRESS (from draft): Mr. John E. Howard / Bridgewater / Massachusetts.
Great Barrington 31 March 1817
It is so long since we have heard from you that some of us begin seriously to doubt whether there ever was such a young lady as Frances Fairchild. Others pretend to say that the reason why we hear nothing of Frances Fairchild is that she has changed her name to Frances Wells-- but I am pretty certain that if you were either dead or married or run away you would let us know it. I have been disappointed of the high gratification I anticipated in hearing that you had become the bride of some illustrious western sachem--Walk-in-the-Water, or Split-log, for instance. I expected much pleasure in learning how you appeared in your new dignity, wearing the wolf-skin, bedizened with wampum, and brightened up with bears-grease;--but since your hand was not solicited on your first arrival among them, I have abandoned all hope of your being